What Are The Limitations Of DNA Testing For Information About Ancestry?

A wide range of people depend on the commercially available genetic tests to get the insights about their ancestry. As per a researcher’s group, those aspirants also need to get the knowledge about the limitations in such genetics testing.

The Associate professor of law and bioethics PILAR OSSORIO and the professor of sociology JOAN FUJIMURA, both are from the University of Wisconsin- Madison are included as the authors.

FUJIMURA, OSSORIO, and 12 other generic researchers from universities across the country are invited in “The Science and Business of Genetic Ancestry Testing” as scientific community to better spread the awareness and educate the people about the limitations of testing, and interested customers to take the tests with precautions.

The first writer of the article was Deborah Bolnick, who is anthropology assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Limitations Of DNA Testing For Information About Ancestry

The researchers had a discussion that the assumptions and limitations of genetic tests make them less informative than the most of people realize and commercialization of tests led to mislead the practices that strengthen the misinterpretations. Some of the limitations of DNA testing to get ancestry information include:

  • Most of the DNA genetic tests track only a few number of your ancestors, and a small side of the DNA.
  • This tests doesn’t identify all of the locations & groups across the globe where the DNA test-takers relations are found:
  • This test may results in false negative or false positives.
  • A limited number of sample databases mean that the test results may be lead to misconception.
  • There is no direct connection in between the DNA and racial /ethnic identity.
  • This test doesn’t decide exactly where the ancestors live or what ethnic identity they hold.

At least two dozen companies sold genetic ancestry tests, and the cost of genetic test ranges between $100 to $900, that help consumers to determine the inception of their ancestors. During the last six years, more than 460,000 tests are purchased by the people and still we can see growth in public interest for genetic tests.

Most often the people have deeply personal reasons for taking the genetic tests. Some people may hope to validate genealogical records or wants to fill the gaps in their family histories. Other people are looking for a connection to specific places or groups in Eurasia or Africa. Many consumers from African Americans may take the tests with hope that it will help them to trace their ancestral links which lost during the transatlantic slave trade.  The rest of Americans may take the tests in hope of getting Native American tribal affiliation or to challenge the tribal membership’s decisions.  However, a person’s social or ethnic identity doesn’t match always with his or her genetic ancestry.

According to UT Austin’s Bolnic :”Not all of the agencies may clear the limitations & assumptions underlying with the genetic tests”. Because it’s important for people to know what the tests can dictate or what it can’t. We are here to encouraging professional genetic DNA tests and anthropological associations to develop the guidelines and policies relevant to genetic ancestry testing.

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